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Zucchinipalooza

August 8, 2021

I wish I’d thought to count the number of zucchinis that we are harvesting off two zucchini plants — one green and one yellow. My lord.

I bought them (along with a bunch of other starts) at Lumeria on May 7. They didn’t get planted until May 17… look how cute:

That’s it on the right of the bed.

And now, three months later, this tiny little green zuc start is a total monster! Yesterday, I cut it way back, removing some of the scarily big leaves (leaves nearly 2 feet in diameter!), and here’s what it looked like after its trimming:

It has a new melon neighbor there to the right, but that huge, twisted gnarly thing heading leftward, that sorta looks like some kind of garden macrame, is what became of that delicate little start and, if I had to guess, I’d say we’ve picked about 30-40 zucs so far off this one plant (and the yellow zuc plant is nearly as prolific, growing in a nearby bed).

Mostly been grilling them, or sauteing big vegetable melanges that include zucs. I made zucchini bread a couple weeks ago and tonight made two more loaves of zucchini bread (a different recipe) and tonight I also made a Mediterranean casserole with zucs, cherry tomatoes, and basil (all from the garden), plus fresh bread crumbs, onions, garlic and ground lamb. Which was pretty good (but who knew Jim didn’t like lamb?). I have lots more casserole recipes to work through. Good thing, right?

I have so many garden shots, but it sorta becomes like sharing photos of your grandkids or pets… maybe people don’t really want to see baby garden plants?. I just want to make sure I remember what we did so we can make improvements next summer. I’m keeping a garden journal (of course I am), but honestly, I keep forgetting to make notes in it (I’ll get better.. this is so new).

Well.

Here’re tonight’s zucchinipalooza dishes… which we’ll be eating for days.

For the Mediterranean casserole, start by browning 3/4 lb of ground lamb with onions and garlic:

Then layer zucchini (1/4″ rounds) in a dish coated in olive oil:

Add all the ground meat, then a layer of tomatoes:

You fully cover that with half the bread crumbs (I cut about six slices from a loaf of Acme Italian bread and put the cubes into the food processor with 1 1/2 cup of fresh basil, salt and pepper), drizzle some olive oil over it, then do another layer of zucs, tomatoes and finish with the remaining bread crumbs. Again drizzle with olive oil and pop it into a 350 degree oven for an hour.

This is just before the oven part. After an hour (I added another 10 minutes to make sure the top layer of zucs was fully roasted) it comes out browned and crispy/crunchy on top.

I felt like it could use some rice or feta.. or something to give it a little more heft. I just realized we have a batch of tzatsiki left over from last week… which would have been a perfect accompaniment!

As I said, I also made more zucchini bread:

Very tasty. Though weirdly, baked these 50% longer than the recipe called for. Not sure why I couldn’t get to full doneness in the one hour specified.

I’m looking for someone to give zucchini bread to…

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